About The Thrivapy Blog

I created The Thrivapy Blog to share my thoughts and ideas about living a learning lifestyle.

For more, visit my website: www.thrivapy.com
Thank You,
Dr. Troy P. Roddy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Teaching (and Learning) Grit

I recently wrote a post titled, Grit and The Proximity of Rewards. In that post, I explored how the distance between rewards and effort contributes to the grit levels needed to accomplish a goal. In addition, I suggest a path to building a "habit of grit."

As I reflect on that article, I am compelled to dig deeper into the potential concepts that would contribute to an effort to teach or learn how to have more grit. As such, I offer the following G.R.I.T. concepts.

...stands for growth mindsets. Developing, appreciating, and using a way of looking at your work as an opportunity to get better provides a powerful perspective on the difficult goals that usually require more grit to achieve. With growth mindsets, effort and improvement are valued over fixed results. When trying to accomplish a challenging goal, it is better to have a mindset focused on improvement.

...actually stands for three R's: Reason, Reality, and Recognition. Put another way, to build grit one needs to know why they are trying to accomplish the goal (reason), have a realistic expectation of what they can accomplish, i.e. do you need to "stretch", "climb", or "fly" to reach it (hint: you can't fly)? This is reality. Finally, celebrating growth and progress along he way keeps motivation high (recognition).

...stands for identify the manageable parts. You are much more likely to accomplish challenging, complex, or unfamiliar tasks when they are broken down into familiar and manageable parts. For example, if you are building a Lego project with your child, following step by step instructions is more productive (though often less creative) than winging it. Manageable parts also provides a clear finish line. You will know you are getting close to the end and once the proximity of rewards gets closer, you are more likely to stick to your plan until you are through.

...stands for take action. If you never start, you cannot finish. Non-starters do not need grit because there can be no end without a beginning. You do not need grit to have hopes and dreams. You need grit to make those dreams come true. No action, no grit.

I have no doubt that grit is a significant factor in finding success. However, knowing the value of grit is not the same as knowing how to learn it or teach it. In order for that to happen, there needs to be some core concepts that lend themselves to reflection, conversation, and practice. Introducing a G.R.I.T. approach to the learning process may be an excellent way to begin discovering how to better support the teaching and learning of grit.